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[340] were as sheep without a shepherd, in a fair way to be transformed into mutton. Had there been a loyal soldier in command of that large portion of our small regular army stationed in Texas, ostensibly for the defense of her exposed Northern and Western frontier, he might have formed a nucleus for an effective rally for the Union. But Mr. John B. Floyd was at the head of the War Department, and had taken care that this force should be wielded by a thorough-going traitor, who would paralyze, and, in due time, betray it into the hands of his fellows. Houston was allowed to remain in office, despised by the implacable enemies to whom he truckled, and despising himself, until they were ready to dispense with him; when he obsequiously resigned, enduring an ignominious existence in their midst until he found relief from it in death, some two years thereafter.

Virginia had recently chosen for her Governor Mr. John Letcher, whose position was nearly as peculiar as Houston's. The genuine Southrons had long professed to be Democrats for Slavery's sake; Letcher, at heart, and formerly by open avowal, regarding human bondage as a blunder if not a crime, was pro-Slavery for the sake of the Democratic party, whereof he had ever been a bigoted devotee, and which had promoted and honored him beyond any other estimate of his merits but his own. Transferred from the House of Representatives to the Governorship1 by the election of 1859, he, as a life-long champion of regular nominations and strict party discipline, had supported Douglas for President in 1860, and thereby thrown himself into a very lean minority2 of his party. Hie had, of course, much lee-way to make up to reinstate himself in that party's good graces, and hence early and zealously lent himself to the work of the conspirators.

The course of Gov. Beriah Magoffin, of Kentucky, was in striking contrast with that of his Southern peers. He, too, had supported Breckinridge; while his party owed its recently acquired ascendency in his State, and he his election, to the deepening conviction of the slaveholding interest that no other party than the Democratic possessed at once the power and the will to rule the country in conformity to its wishes and presumed interests. But Kentucky had already repeatedly declared for the Union--conspicuously in her August State Election of 1860, and again in choosing Bell Electors, and giving the rival candidates for President some Forty Thousand more votes than she gave her own Breckinridge, who, but for her apprehensions and dread of disunion, would probably have received her vote. Gov. Magoffin now issued an address to the people of Kentucky, wherein he wisely and forcibly said:

To South Carolina, and such other States as may wish to secede from the Union, I would say: The geography of this country will not admit of a division; the mouth and sources of the Mississippi river cannot be separated without the horrors of civil war. We cannot sustain you in this movement merely on account of the election of Lincoln. Do not precipitate us, by premature action, into a revolution or civil war, the consequences of which will be most frightful to all of us. It may yet be avoided. There is still hope, faint though it be. Kentucky is a border State, and has suffered more than

1 Vote for Governor: Letcher, Dem., 77,112; Goggin, Am., 71,543.

2 Democratic vote of Virginia: Breckinridge, 74,323; douglas, 16,290.

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